Vegan Lapsang Souchong Marzipan Fruitcake

I've recently fallen totally in love with Lapsang Souchong tea and like to take a mug of it in my travel cup on my train journey into work in the mornings. I add a splash of soya milk and sometimes a bit of agave or Sweet Freedom. If you've never tried it, it's a very smokey tasting and smelling tea. Matt hates it and calls it ashtray tea! It's definitely a 'marmite' tea. I first tried it as a teeenager and thought it was disgusting but now I can't get enough of it! The smoke flavour is entirely natural and comes from the pine trees in the area where it's grown. The smoke from the pinewood drifts through and permeates the tea as it dries out on bamboo trays. One way I've managed to get Matt to imbibe some is by infusing a cake with it.

I found a couple of recipes on the internet that helped inspire this vegan Lapsang Souchong cake. There's the famous Nigella Marzipan Fruitcake which uses rum rather than tea (I've had great success veganising this and subbing the rum for whisky) and also this adaption of the Nigella cake to use Lapsang Souchong tea by Maison Cupcake. The tea flavour is pretty subtle and the recipe makes a decadent super sweet cake with the pear and marzipan flavours working wonderfully well. This cake needs no topping although if you don't like the look of a plain fruitcake you could add some artfully arranged blanched almonds.


150g raisins
100g dried cherries*
120g dried pears, chopped small*
100ml of lapsang souchong tea for soaking the fruit**
250ml of marzipan, diced
50g of ground almonds
175 g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g vegan margarine
2 egg replacer eggs (I used powdered egg replacer)
2 tablespoons of orange liqueur (or orange juice or other spirit or liqueur)
2 tablespoons of freshly brewed Lapsang Souchong tea for adding to the cake batter

* The only place I found the dried cherries and pears was a big Tesco. If you can't get them sub with other dried fruit (pineapple would be great) or glace cherries.

**I used Twinings tea bags which are widely available

The night before mix the raisins, dried cherries and chopped dried pears in a large bowl and cover with the 100ml of lapsang souchong. Dice the marzipan into small dice and put it in the freezer.
Leave these overnight.

In the morning grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Set the oven to 140C/280F/Gas 1.

Beat together the almonds, sugar, flour, margarine and egg replacer. Add the fruit mixture, orange liqueur, two tablespoons of freshly brewed Lapsang Souchong and frozen marzipan. Add the mixture to the tin, levelling the surface with a slight indent in the middle.

Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean. If it starts to brown on the top before it is cooked then cover the top with foil.

Let it cool in the tin and then enjoy with a cup of tea.


  1. This looks beautiful, I love a good fruitcake.
    Dried cherries are very hard to find here as well, though thankfully dried pears are fairly easy. I have never had them in a cake before.

    I haven't tried this tea before, I will have to give it a go sometime. I love smoky things.

    1. The dried pears were a revelation to me, really lovely. Definitely give the tea a try. It's great as a first brew of the day.

  2. I'm not really a big fruitcake kind of person but this looks tempting!

  3. I don't love tea but I do love both marzipan and cake and this looks and sounds delicious.

  4. That is my favorite tea and I've been waiting for autumn so I can get a new stash.


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